Hey, y’all! We are super excited to announce that last week we welcomed our newest member to The Yetee Staff John-Charles Holmes! Some of you may know JC (@Sonic9jct) from his super rad tee designs here on the website or even his work with the ever adorable cartoon cat Pusheen! As our new Brand Manager, you’ll be seeing him from time to time around the social zones we inhabit on the interweb-sphere, in addition to hosting a brand new Thursday series on our Twitch channel titled “Office Hours”. In this brand new web show centered around life at Yetee HQ, you’ll get to see the staff and pals as they struggle to eat more pizza than Yetee can, exclusive behind the scenes content, in addition to various video game and IRL hijinks as they unfold, so definitely keep an eye out for that!
On this edition of Meet The Yetee, Jacob has invited JC onto the blog for an impromptu interview in order to dig into all things art, inspirations, hobbies, and more! Let’s get into it, shall we?
Jacob: Hey JC, welcome to the blog, it’s pretty wild around here huh?!
John-Charles: Howdy, happy to be here! It certainly feels like some sort of weird dream being here. I keep expecting to wake up only to find out I gotta go finish up the second half of 3rd grade again.
Jacob: Who or what has been one of the biggest influences on your career as an artist?
John-Charles: As a kid (and, uh, now as an adult) I honestly spent most of my time just watching cartoons, and I remember being immediately drawn to the work of Craig McCracken and Powerpuff Girls. The flat shapes and bold linework always grabbed me as a kid and even now as an adult, I’ve sat down and specifically studied later shows a lot of that same team went on to do afterwards (like Samurai Jack and Teenage Robot) to get a stronger idea of how to squeeze more appeal out of larger shapes and less lines.
As I got older, smaller artists and their techniques definitely got a lot more visibility since everyone suddenly just had a blog or Tumblr. I think specifically, Glen Brogan, Scott Campbell and KC Green were the guys doing the kind of things I wanted to do most as an artist.
Jacob: What is your design setup like, what programs or tools do you utilize to come up with your unique style?
John-Charles: So at home, I do all my work using Clip Studio Pro on a Surface Studio (the big desktop one). Moving from a small Surface tablet to a HUGE 4K display really gives me a lot more mobility in terms of strokes and colors, which I’ve been fully embracing and experimenting with in more of my work lately. One of my secrets too is that I’ve been using a color palette my friend Renee/@gelatobear made for a project we collaborated on a few years ago. The colors she picked out are just so much fun to work with and I just never stopped using them!
Jacob: Did you always want to do designs for tees or clothing?
John-Charles: I think I kinda knew a part of me wanted to do work for a print-shop style group like the Yetee. I was already accustomed to drawing for things like comics and local rock shows, but I had never envisioned my stuff on a t-shirt. Like how you *know* you’re cool once someone decides they want your art on their chest (one step down from the frightening permanence of a tattoo). Once I got my first design printed with The Yetee and saw that people actually really liked it, I knew it was absolutely something I wanted to keep doing again and again.
Jacob: What have been some of your hobbies lately?
John-Charles: Oh man, where do I even start? I feel like in the last year, everyone was getting way into baking bread, but I’ve just gotten obsessed with making my own ice cream this summer. I’ve been leveling up on both following recipes and making up my own flavors, so I’ve basically gotten to the point where when I go grocery shopping, half the stuff I get is for normal cooking and the other half is just stuff that I think would make a good ice cream flavor.
My favorite batch I’ve made so far is a sea salt ice cream inspired by the one they’re always eating in Kingdom Hearts. You know, that blue stuff? The ice cream itself has a really subdued sweetness in comparison to the oddly refreshing salty flavor when it first hits your tongue. I’ve made it a few times already and it’s already a new favorite among my friends when we hang out.
I’m already trying to figure out what would make the perfect Yeteeberry ice cream...
Sea Salt Ice Cream and a Dressed-Up Vanilla Cone
Jacob: With all that said, is there such a thing as too much ice cream?
John-Charles: I certainly hope not, each batch I make has to go somewhere!
Jacob: So, what games have you been playing lately, anything exciting?
John-Charles: Well, like most PS5 owners, I just finished playing Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. I’ve been a fan of that series since the very start, so it was amazing to see how far Insomniac has come in 20 years and that Ratchet & Clank is still a ton of fun and absolutely gorgeous today. For now, though, I’m trying to just keep my gamer plate clean so I have space for Psychonauts 2 and No More Heroes 3. It still feels unreal those games are actually happening AND that they’re releasing like three days apart!
Jacob: What's your favorite game of all time?
John-Charles: The original Psychonauts, hands down. It came out at a time when great western character platformers were starting to die out in the transition to HD consoles and that game’s visual style and writing immediately grabbed my attention. (It might be the last game I remember ever playing at a demo disc kiosk.) I love how it’s secretly a point-and-click adventure game about pushing up against very strange characters and environments and being rewarded with jokes and some really cool storytelling.
Jacob: What are some of your favorite books? Any books or authors you enjoy reading from regularly?
John-Charles: As far as regular books go, I like reading a lot of nonfiction. The stuff coming out of Boss Fight Books is great, and Jason Schrier’s Blood, Sweat & Pixels and Press Reset are must-reads for anyone interested in making games. I also loved The Disaster Artist, especially the audiobook which is narrated by Greg Sestero himself. Oh, and just about anything from Carl Sagan and Howard Zinn is my favorite kind of brain food.
Jacob: What are some of your favorite comic series or books of all time?
John-Charles: Jeff Smith’s Bone was absolutely the first comic series I remember falling in love with, which was around the same time I was getting obsessed with my dad’s old 60’s Spider-Man comics. As far as recent stuff goes, I’ve also really enjoyed My Hero Academia, Jonesy, Teen Dog and the Hilda books. God, I love Hilda so much.
Jeff Smith's Bone
Jacob: Awesome! So, I heard through the grapevine that you’re a pretty avid vinyl collector and I’ve gotta ask, what have you been spinning lately? Is there a particular genre you gravitate towards beyond VGM?
John-Charles: I’m really big on collecting movie scores on vinyl, there’s a lot of great older releases that never got CD or digital releases or are just straight up OOP* (Out of Print) and impossible to find otherwise. There’s also been a lot of really great reissues of some Japanese city pop albums and old 8bitpeople’s era chiptune classics that I’ve really enjoyed filling out my library with these days. That recent release of Information Chase was absolutely divine.
Jacob: What are your top five albums in your vinyl collection either by music or presentation?
John-Charles: Seaside Lovers’ Memories in Beach House is a city pop cornerstone that honestly got me collecting to begin with. Ennio Morricone’s hard-to-find score for The Thing was my white whale I finally landed last year too. Data Disc’s pressing of Streets of Rage 2 is possibly the best sounding record I’ve got. Anamanaguchi’s Dawn Metropolis is also a stone-cold classic on vinyl. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out I kinda listened to the Celeste Farewell vinyl on repeat for about two weeks straight when I first got it.
Jacob: Do you have any pets? Are they a big part of your life?
John-Charles: I’m actually not a huge pet guy, which is funny considering my last job was working for a cartoon cat. My girlfriend has actually been getting a fish tank ready all summer to start keeping fish and has fallen in love with the snail she got to help keep the algae in check. At this point, that snail is basically family.
Apple the snail 🐌
Jacob: Heck yeah! Super adorable. So, What are you most excited to do now that you work for the resident Tee Cryptid of the world?
John-Charles: I love that The Yetee does a lot of awesome work with smaller devs, from things like the Kickstarters y’all help manage all the way to getting some really awesome indie OSTs pressed to vinyl. In my previous games journalism days, working with indies was honestly my favorite part of the job, and I’m beyond excited to get to work with some seriously incredible devs again moving into the future.
I want to extend a huge thanks to John-Charles for taking the time to hang out with me and answer a few questions for the purposes of this article! It’s awesome to have such a cool person join the team here at The Yetee, and even though he’s only been here a week or two, it already feels like he’s been here for ages! I absolutely can’t wait to see all the amazing things he and the rest of the team are planning going forward, because there’s some exciting stuff coming soon… 👀
If you’d like to scope out more of what John-Charles is up to just keep your eyes peeled on our social media profiles in addition to our Twitch channel for some exciting content coming down the pipeline. Also, you should swing by his own social media pages around the net to stay up-to-date on all things pertaining to the Ice Cream Chronicles, pop-culture-related ruminations, and more!